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Human Voter Guide: Vote by mail begins for LA City Council, LAUSD school board races

Vote-by-mail ballots are sorted into their appropriate district after arriving at the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder building in Norwalk on Friday, Oct. 17. The earliest-arrivng mail-in ballots are the first to be counted after the 8 p.m. poll-closing time.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
FILE PHOTO: Vote by mail ballots are sorted into appropriate districts after arriving at the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder building in Norwalk. This time, the city of Los Angeles is administering its May 16 runoff elections.

Vote by mail gets underway today for the city of Los Angeles' elections taking place on May 16.

Runoffs for two City Council seats and two school board seats will be on the ballot. City voters will also decide on a charter amendment that deals with police disciplinary hearings.

Keep an eye on your mailbox; sample ballot pamphlets with information on the election are already on their way to eligible voters. 

City officials are also mailing out actual ballots to those who have opted in to permanently vote by mail. Additionally, beginning today, you can request a vote by mail ballot for this particular election. 

Because this is a city election, voters are unable to request a vote by mail ballot online as they can for elections run by Los Angeles County officials.

To request a vote by mail ballot for the city election, voters can fill out the application on the back of their sample ballots. Return it via mail to: Office of the City Clerk - Election Division, 555 Ramirez St., Space 300, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Alternatively, voters can fax in their requests to 213-978-0611 or 213-978-0612. All vote by mail applications must arrive by May 9 at 5 p.m. If you are a permanent vote by mail voter, an application is not necessary. Your ballot will arrive automatically.

If you still need to register to vote, you have until May 1 to do so. The fastest way to register is online. If you've moved recently, you'll need to update your voter registration through the same website

If you haven't received your sample ballot, don't worry. They'll be mailed in batches through May 9.

Candidates, charter amendment

Four races will go before voters living in certain districts of Los Angeles.  You can check to see whether you're voting on them  here.

City Council District 1 candidates are incumbent Gil Cedillo and challenger Joe Bray-Ali. The district seat covers communities that include MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Mt. Washington and Cypress Park. You can read more about the candidates in our primary election coverage here and here.

City Council District 7 candidates are Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian. The district covers portions of northern Los Angeles, including Sunland, Lake View Terrace, Pacoima and Shadow Hills. You can read the candidates' responses to a KPCC survey ahead of the primary election here. You can also read more about the candidates in our coverage here

Los Angeles Unified School Board District 4 candidates are incumbent Steve Zimmer and challenger Nick Melvoin. The district includes Venice, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Hollywood, portions of Encino, Tarzana and other neighborhoods in the southwest San Fernando Valley. KPCC's coverage included this story here.

Los Angeles Unified School Board District 6 candidates are Imelda Padilla and Kelly Gonez. The seat covers East San Fernando Valley neighborhoods east of the 405 Freeway, including Sunland-Tujunga and Lakeview Terrace; and some areas west of the 405, such as Lake Balboa. See our previous coverage here.

For more information on the school board candidates, check out their responses to KPCC's candidate survey submitted ahead of the primary election. 

City Charter Amendment C: All voters in Los Angeles will be asked to decide on a proposed change to the City Charter that would allow the City Council to provide a police officer with the option to select an all-civilian board to hear his or her disciplinary matter. KPCC's previous coverage of this issue can be read here.

Series: Human Voter Guide

Municipal elections will be held through 2017. To help you navigate the way, we revive KPCC's Human Voter Guide, a series of questions-and-answers about California elections.

Have a question? Email our senior political reporter Mary Plummer, tweet her @maryplummer or leave a voice mail or text at 323-538-5722.